Story: Violent crime

Murders, 1950s–2010s

The numbers of recorded murder offences have increased dramatically in New Zealand. They increased over fivefold from the 1950s (102) to the 1980s (553), reaching a high point in the 1990s (623). The total number of murder offences dropped slightly in the first decade of the 21st century.

Note: Counting rules for murder statistics have changed over time (i.e. cases vs offences vs victimisations). Therefore, trend for homicide statistics over a long period (especially before 2007) should be interpreted with caution. See New Zealand Police website for more details.

All images & media in this story

How to cite this page:

Greg Newbold, 'Violent crime - Murder and manslaughter', Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, (accessed 22 March 2023)

Story by Greg Newbold, published 5 May 2011, reviewed & revised 18 Mar 2019